Response to Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare

My initial response to Shakespeare’s sonnet is first to interpret what it could be about. The message I receive from it is his love for a particular season. It is that time of year where the seasons are changing and the tone I get from the sonnet it sort of a somber, dark tone. To him, it is a death of a great love, it might be that he loves this particular season and he is grieving that it is over.

1. I feel the purpose of the repetitions in lines 1, 5, 9 play a great role when listening to the tone of voice of the poem. I get a dark, somber tone; a love is lost and this is the poet’s time of mourning. The repetition is important to the tone of voice because I feel that it adds that sense of drama to the poem. The poet is losing something, he is basically talking about what is dying, and that is a highly dramatic element that needs that type of repetition within its lines.

2. In lines 1-4, the poet uses a few strong metaphors and creative imagery to paint the image of what season he is envisioning.

Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,

Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

In these two specific lines, the first line suggest the weather condition of the time. Tree branches are shaking against the wind and the use of the word “cold” is a synecdoche. He is using the definition of wind to create this image for the reader to show that there is a wind strong enough to not only shake the tree, but to interrupt where the choir of birds used to sing.

In lines 5-8, I would say that there is a small sense of personification for the “black night.” The poet says that is it “taking away” what is left of the day. Night does not literally, “take” the day away; the poet is giving the time of day a personable verb.

Finally in the lines 9-12, here the is the poet’s description of the time of dying. The season is on its deathbed and it is on the border of it changing. And to display that, the poet gives fire the biggest job of all, the responsibility of reaping the previous season. This whole section is one giant figure of speech. All the lines are effective to the poem; without them the poem would be empty of images or a tone of voice.